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i unplug my usb modem but stil luse pc [have a surge protector ]ans
14 REPLIES
newinvention
Grafter
Posts: 139
Registered: 30-07-2007

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

During a thunderstorm should you disconnect your external ADSL modem from the telephone socket and power supply? Nothing in the Netgear modem guide says you should (that I can find), but during a storm today my modem seems to have died a death. It isn't a wireless one.

Anyone have some definitive answers on this?

Also, I've only have the thing since Feb - do you think I would be able to get a replacement modem from the retailer or manufacturer?

I did unplug my PC from the power supply, but not the modem, alas.
Thanks.
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

It depends on how cautious you feel.

When there is lightning about, I unplug the computer and router/modem at the wall, and also unplug the telephone connection from the wall. I've had a DECT phone killed by lightning going down the wire. My neighbour's went at the same time.

When we took them back, the man at Currys said that he'd been inundated with people taking stuff back that had been struck by lightning, and of course he sent them all packing.

The modem supplier won't replace it if you mention lightning, but if you swear that you always unplug it during storms, and that it died on a nice sunny day, that will be OK. ( Assuming this is true, of course :lol: )
N/A

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

I remember a couple of years ago, when I was on dial-up, I saw blue sparks coming out of the modem during a thunderstorm. Needless to say, it didn't work afterwards. Later I found that my DECT phone had packed up too.

It's always a good idea to unplug modems and other vulnerable equipment when there's lightning around.

Eric
shellsong
Grafter
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

You're probably best off with most of your equipment running off an UPS plugged into a good quality surge suppressing distribution strip with a guarantee that covers the cost of replacing surge damaged devices-- also don't forget your TV aerial if you use your computer for receiving TV!

Also see http://www.clarity.it/acatalog/surge_protectors.html
N/A

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

While I know it would be nice to have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) it seems quite a luxury compared with many of the other things one wants/needs.

I guess some people will turn everything off, just in case, but I've just risked it. Helps a little to know the phone line here is underground (OK, I know it comes up by the front of the house) and between my PC and the BT socket there are a number of boxes (home LAN, ending with a router) and that I have a spare router (or three!) With a router costing under 30 quid and a UPS perhaps 150 up (to do more than stay on for about 10 minutes) I know which I'd have on the shelf in case lightening took out the unit.

As for USB type ADSL gear, I've not touched them for 4 years and given the fact that lightning, if it got to a USB modem would be within 5 cm of the USB connection into the PC, I'd expect it to take the PC too...

At least with my router on another floor from the PC, and a couple of hubs in between, there's more chance of one of them going bang and ending the trail of destruction before anything gets to this PC... OK, fingers crossed that's how it might go down Smiley
newinvention
Grafter
Posts: 139
Registered: 30-07-2007

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

Thanks everyone for your input.

The router power plug was plugged into a Belkin surge protector, but presumably it got zapped via the telephone line. The phone (that is shares the line with) is fine. I'm told that modems have more delicate circuitry - perhaps this is where it came to grief. My 'free' BT Plusnet modem is now in full operation - thank goodness I had a backup! But I'll be disconnecting everything from the wall next time.
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what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

Think I saw a separate thread about AVG - but hope you also have a firewall on your PC, because with a USB connection you're a little more "open" to attack.

Worth a quick check of the "Shields Up!" test (as in Star Trek) at www.grc.com as that will see what information "leaks out" (if any). A router will usually block most unwanted traffic.

Sorry to read of kit going bang - perhaps you are more rural (I'm on the edge of Wrexham, by the way) but when considering a router, might be worth seeing what you can get in some "budget" range, as the cost of some of the more expensive ones (or buying at PC World, even) can be double some of the others. My sister is using a 4-port Safecom I bought for under 25 quid on Ebay, but I've also had my hands on Origo, Edimax, and others which are adequate for most purposes, unless someone is a heavy peer-to-peer user.

I see that there's a cheap Safecom model back in stock at Linux ADSL (never yet been a customer, but having seen the price of buying new there, I will be next time someone asks for a router, and I'm tempted to try one of their phone line faceplate filters to see how well they work...
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

I got the Safecom router from ebuyer for about £20 and it was great.
However, when I changed to a Netgear DG834, my sync speed went up from 4,500 to 6200 and has stayed there. So the Safecom is fine if you're getting the maximum speed out of it. I wouldn't have changed otherwise.
N/A

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

Worth knowing - I'm actually using a 4-year old DabsValue router this minute and while the sync speed is typically around 8000 I've not seen massive speed for downloads (that's not as important as it staying online, to me, anyway).

I hadn't bothered to try the AR11, AR41 and other routers I have lying about (a couple are out on loan, one is a single port Safecom).

Thanks for highlighting the different speeds - wonder if it is the modem circuitry or sensitivity or just a slightly below par Safecom you had ?
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

It's a different chip inside it..

And speaking of lightning, it's starting to thunder here in the North, so I'm off. :lol:
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what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

Yes, appreciate the chipset will be different - the AR11 and AR41 use something different to the Conexant chipset, AFAIK (Origo, DabsValue, PTI, Safecom, Edimax to name some I have seen so far with the Conexant chipset, and similar GUI)...

It still begs the question whether your result with a Safecom is widely reflected (there might be thousands of people complaining about not getting the fastest speeds possible on their line, if so), or whether it was just not performing as well as it should (eg down to the current warm weather)...
MarkC
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 05-04-2007

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

One of my customers had a lightning strike recently, and lost the filter, the adsl side of the router, 2 of the 4 network points on the router, the network card on the server plugged into the router and some other hardware damage on that server! Oddly, when plugged into one of the remaining 2 networks points on the router you could bring up the admin pages, and do anything except dial out!!

He's had to replace the filter, the router and the server - expensive lightning strike.

Mark
Alecto
Grafter
Posts: 2,886
Registered: 30-07-2007

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

Quote

It still begs the question whether your result with a Safecom is widely reflected (there might be thousands of people complaining about not getting the fastest speeds possible on their line, if so), or whether it was just not performing as well as it should (eg down to the current warm weather)...


It was before the warm weather. And the solwise SAR130 I had before that gave exactly the same readings for atten and SNR, so I'd doubt it was faulty. SNR still starts at 6 as I believe Max normally does it, but attenuation has improved from 56(on SAR and Safecom) to 50.
Peter has one I think and says they are known to be more "sensitive" than a lot of the others. But it's all too technical for me. I just believe what Peter tells me now.
The Netgear stays synced even with a reported SNR of minus something, but since that's impossible, it may be misreporting anyway.
Cogito ergo sum springs to mind. What is truth? and stuff like that.

Anyway, I'm not going to risk getting my sync speed downgraded by trying another one. :lol:
N/A

what to do with an ADSL modem during a thunderstorm?

Hmm,

I have a UPS running at home here. But believe it or not that serves little more than my router, server and switch. My main system ( being the single most expensive item in this room ) runs from a 10 way multi strip which was advertised as a surge protector ( but lets face it, nothing is ) along side dual monitor display.

I have been meaning for an absolute age now to get another UPS, but havent as yet gotten round to it. I really must I think.